Son of “El Mayo” Zambada testifies against “El Chapo”

"El Vicentillo," friend of "El Chapo," talked about Pemex bribes and the murder of Carrillo Fuentes

Son of “El Mayo” Zambada testifies against “El Chapo”
“El Chapo” bribed Mexico’s security forces on a daily basis, with a monthly budget of around USD$1 million for said purposes - Photo: Jane Rosenberg/Reuters
English 04/01/2019 16:20 Newsroom Mexico City Europa Press & EFE Actualizada 18:32
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The U.S. government has now resumed the trial against Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, starting with the testimony of one of his old protégés, Vicente Zambada Niebla, who has described in detail the businesses of the drug lord and, just like his uncle and witness Jesús Zambada did last year, he confirmed that Guzmán had ordered the murder of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes in 2004, after he refused to shake his hand. Carrillo Fuentes was one of the main leaders of the Juarez Cartel.

Zambada, also known as “El Vicentillo,” is the first born child of the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, the fugitive Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

Vicentillo declared himself guilty of trafficking thousands of kilos of cocaine. He has decided to participate in the trial as witness in exchange for a reduction of sentence.

It was originally expected that Zambada was to receive due process on charges of drug smuggling while he worked as his father’s right-hand man. However, before the trial began, his lawyers claimed that he had been working as an undercover spy for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for several years, exchanging information on his rivals for freedom to handle his business without hindrances.

After greeting “El Chapo,” Zambada explained his relationship with the drug lord in full detail. He started working with Guzmán at the age of 15, with his father’s blessing, handling drug shipments from South and Central America and their transport to the U.S. border.

Their relationship grew closer after the spectacular prison breakout of Guzmán in 2001. Once he was out of jail, Guzmán told Vicente that he had escaped by “hiding in a laundry basket,” with the help of the corrupt security officer Francisco “El Chito” Camberos Rivera, who personally pushed the basket where the drug dealer was hiding through all of the control posts.

Vicente also assured that neither the Puente Grande Prison director nor the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox had any knowledge of Guzmán’s breakout, contradicting the testimony of another witness.

Guzmán’s protégé also declared that in 2007, the drug lord had gathered with a group of high-level politicians and Pemex representatives to discuss a plan to ship 100 tons of cocaine in a state-owned oil tanker.

The murder of Carrillo Fuentes

After detailing that his father and “El Chapo” bribed Mexico’s security forces on a daily basis –with a monthly budget of around USD$1 million for said purposes-, “El Vicentillo confirmed that in 2004, Guzmán Loera ordered the death of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes.

Fuentes was shot to death at a shopping mall in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in company of his wife Giovanna Quevedo and his two children.

Vicente regretted that the shooting led to the death of Fuentes’ wife, though his two children survived the attack. “It was a disgrace,” Vicente stated, assuring that Carrillo was accompanied by members of Mexico’s Judicial Police.

All of this because Fuentes –the younger brother of the drug kingpins Amado and Vicente Carrillo, leaders of the Juarez Cartel-, had left “El Chapo” hanging while he tried to shake his hand during a meeting.

Vicente Zambada had been one of the most important members of the Sinaloa Cartel until his arrest in 2009, when he was sent to a federal prison in the United States.


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